Ten days have come and gone, and in between my driving miles have totaled 1223 with 8 different presentations in 8 different locations. Before heading off for my next gatherings, I am posting some photos of my landings in Taylor Ridge, Reynolds , Maxey Chapel, East Moline, Decatur, Hillsboro, Mount Vernon and Lincoln.
Highlights for this last road trip included a very unique VBS in Decatur where the theme, Weird Animals, brought out local zoo volunteers. Their mobile petting zoo included a baby alligator, geiko, salamander (water and land), hissing cockroaches, a millipede, and 2 small mammal varieties from the hedgehog and opossum families. (See pictures below.)
Also rewarding were faith talks with Hillsboro pastor Joy Caschetta during one overnight and catching up in another overnight with David and Gwen Eadie. David served at Marshall First UMC, my home church, in the 70’s and early 80’s while I was a teenager. I babysat their two girls, Sarah and Emily, who are now parents themselves. Hard to believe!
My next jaunt is once again traveling far to the south (Ware, IL) and then far to the north (Hillsdale, past the Quad Cities) before heading over to Canton, Missouri to meet at an annual UMW gathering. I won’t be reporting for at least a week. Stay tuned for more pictures and travel tales around Illinois!
Ping An, Peace, everyone! Have a great week.
Taylor Ridge UMC prepare for Sunday worship Sunday morning, July 6
Pastor Paul Newhall with Taylor Ridge members after our service
Fellowship time after the service includes lots of coffee and cookies. Gals to the left of the room . . .
and our men to the right.
At Reynolds UMC, considered the “city” church, Pastor Paul Newhall and I pose for a picture in the sanctuary.
After worship, my very dear friends, the Carlsons, took me out to eat at a local restaurant. It was wonderful to catch up after 3 years.
At East Moline Christ UMC, my display table had many visitors.
A Chinese (seen here), printed by the Amity Printing Press, was quite the fascinating item for Americans, used to seeing the scripture in English, not Chinese.
In Galesburg, I had a day with Marilyn Greenfield, a retired elementary school teacher. She and I had a pen pal exchange program between our students (mine college, hers in 3rd grade) many, many years ago.
Marilyn’s husband, Loren, is a big hunting fan. Here is his best friend when on the chase for fowl.
What a lover! Big kiss from a big dog.
Marilyn, myself and her retired teachers’ clan visit Le Clair, IA, about 45 minutes north of Galesburg, located on the Mississippi River (Behind us)
Le Clair is filled with fun little boutique shops. A great place to spend the day.
Having a day off to relax and share student stories with educators was a blast. Much needed and much enjoyed.
An evening potluck at Maxey Chapel brought together both Maxey Chapel members and Galesburg First UMC members.
Maxey Chapel members in attendance
Joined by Galesburg First UMC members
Decatur Grace UMC had a meatball luncheon after services. Here are those who stayed for my presentation afterwards.
Pastors Sig and Beth at Decatur Grace
My overnight hosts. The Castles (seated) from 3 years ago and the Sterns (standing) from 6 years ago and this time around.
VBS (Vacation Bible School) kick-off at Decatur had the theme of “Weird Animals”. The Decatur Mobile Zoo brought in some interesting reptiles
An albino water salamander
He was a lively little thing! Never stopped crawling.
Of the hedgehog family, this little guy.
Another of the Opossum family
The kids really loved their time with the animals, along with water balloon games and other activities.
From left to right in Hillsboro: Pastors Joy, Sue, Ralph and his wife and myself. This picture appeared in the local paper.
My time in Mount Vernon Epworth UMC
Pastor Elton Storey, his wife Vicki and Virginia Page at Mt. Vernon Epworth
Members from Mt. Vernon First UMC joined in with Epworth members.
UMW gathering in Lincoln, IL at Lincoln UMC
From Mackinaw, IL, Pastor Joy Schlesselman (right) brought high school senior Jessie Kilbride for a little discussion about mission opportunities through our UMC. Thanks for that, Joy! Keep in touch, Jessie!
I have been in the Asia region for 30 years as an English language teacher. 28 of those have been spent with the Amity Foundation, a Chinese NGO that works in all areas of development for the Chinese people. Amity teachers are placed at small colleges throughout China as instructors of English language majors in the education field. In other words, my students will one day be English teachers themselves in their small villages or towns once they graduate. Currently, this is my 13th year in Luzhou Vocational and Technical College. The college is located in Luzhou city (loo-joe), Sichuan Province, a metropolis of 5 million people located next to the Yangtze River .
So glad you continue to get to share your work/students….China with others.